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Photos: Ulip Photography, Matthias Gravelmann, Paul Schmitz, Carolin Saage, Herbert Schulze/Scorpio

Celebrities Reflect on Their Wishes for the Future

“There can be no happiness unless we maintain the integrity of nature”

We all have wishes for the future. We asked some well-known Germans about what they most desire for the future. Here are their answers:

Bildschirmfoto 2019 09 17 um 13 48 03

Photos: Ulip Photography, Matthias Gravelmann, Paul Schmitz, Carolin Saage, Herbert Schulze/Scorpio

Dirk Steffens is a science journalist, nature filmmaker and UN ambassador for biodiversity.

Dirk Steffens Ulip Photography

Photo: Ulip Photography

Dirk Steffens

“A society guided not by opinions but by established facts has the best prospects for the future. We are part of a biological system that has developed within a physical system – and this means that the laws of nature are our supreme authority too. These laws are merciless, and that’s why scientific knowledge about the climate, biodiversity and other vital earth systems should play a decisive role in our actions. Without air to breathe and water to drink, without fertile soil and healthy food, freedom and democracy are not possible. There can be no happiness unless we maintain the integrity of nature. We are the first and only species in the history of life that can shape its own future – and, basically, that’s the only really important difference between us and the dinosaurs. Let’s try to spare ourselves their fate.”

Nina Ruge is a television presenter, author and journalist.

Nina Ruge Credit Matthias Garvelmann

Photo: Matthias Gravelmann

Nina Ruge

“We'll need to develop new mental strengths to stop ourselves falling into the traps of the Internet. The digital world doesn’t know what’s most important: it doesn't know what freedom feels like – freedom of thought, freedom of opinion or freedom of choice. It knows neither tolerance nor respect. And above all, it doesn’t know love. The challenge is not to live in the Internet, but to live with it. To live the values unknown to algorithms. We need to develop a strong, sovereign and new form of consciousness."

Frank Schätzing is a German writer.


Photo: Paul Schmitz

Frank Schätzing

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it. And this means nothing more than shaping it. Because indeed the future doesn’t yet exist. The future is a construction of the mind; it’s not a trap laid by the powers to enslave us all. It’s not a technology monster already lying in wait to devour us all. The future is what we desire and what we fear at the same time. And to achieve the future we’d all like to have, we need to work on shaping it. Each of us, each waking day, needs to be aware of our individual creative sovereignty. Each of us needs to make the best possible use of the little bit of creative freedom he or she has in this world of billions of people. Because we can see from history that individual people were able to change entire societies. That is future – it begins in the mind, but it’s not possible without action.”

Ronja Larissa von Rönne is a German blogger, journalist, writer, and presenter.

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Photo: Carolin Saage

Ronja von Rönne

“If we’re currently living in the age of great questions, then perhaps the future shouldn’t be the era of answers, but of new questions at any rate. Climate change will then have ceased to be one of the major threats, and will have become part of the history lesson. The future will have succeeded when succeeding generations look back at us blankly and ask why people were once persecuted just for loving someone, why mammon had more influence than what the population wanted – and why anyone ever thought that bubble tea shops could be a good idea.”

Max Moor is an actor and television presenter.

C Herbert Schulze Scorpio

Photo: Herbert Schulze/Scorpio

Max Moor

“For a viable future we must free ourselves from the current world economic system, which accepts people only as ‘service providers’ and ‘consumers’, while our most valuable human qualities are regarded as ‘economically irrelevant’: cultural diversity, creativity, independent thinking, enjoyment of life, compassion and the natural urge to create a more beautiful world for our descendants. But it’s precisely these qualities that count. Let’s end the power of cold numbers, of ‘profit at all costs’. Let’s end the profit-driven destruction of our planet. And let’s stop evaluating its inhabitants only according to their ‘utility’. Everyone and anyone, you, I, all of us, are not condemned to remain slaves of this economic system. Let’s do it... let’s get rid of it.”